ABSTRACT PSYCHOSOCIAL ART

By DICK CRISPO

Appreciating The Beauty In Asymmetry

The Intimate Dance of Ink and Intent

Each stroke of the pen, a silent communicator, guides the observer through a narrative much deeper than the inked surface it graces. My journey as an artist has long been intertwined with the pursuit of storytelling through the simplest of mediums: ink and paper. As I guide my felt tip across the surface, creating more lines on an ever-growing variety of paper sizes, I find myself descending deeper into the realm of pattern and connection.

Patterns as Portals to a Deeper Understanding

As I reflect on these patterns, I’m captivated by their potential to convey powerful messages—messages I’m not yet clear on but inherently understand as fundamental truths. Patterns hold the key; they are at once familiar and enigmatic, revealing and concealing the intricate dance of life’s rhythms. I am drawn to the tapestries of patterns observed in the cultures of the South Seas, the intricate tattoos of Maori tribes, narratives etched into skin that mirror the very flow of blood and history. What do these deeply-rooted symbols convey about the life paths of those who wear them? How do they mold identity and community?

The Autonomy and Interplay of the Line

Dick Crispo drawing with brush pen
Dick Crispo drawing with PITT Artists Brush Pen.

The lines I draw delve into the nature of containment and freedom. The boundaries of my images don’t dictate the stories within; rather, it is the interplay of lines inside that forms a profound narrative. I envision the lines as a vast network, akin to the wiring of an electric circuit or the synapses within the brain—channels of information, each with its own resonance and purpose.

The Synergy of Line Interaction

Against this backdrop, lines and patterns don’t just exist in isolation; they interact, sometimes challenging each other, other times complementing a greater design. This dance of lines speaks volumes, reaching beyond the physical space they occupy. They beckon the observer to ponder, question, and interpret.

Rebelling Against Symmetry Through the Human Study

An old friend—my study of the human head—reveals the dichotomy of structure and fluidity. The skull, rigid and unyielding, juxtaposes the expressive features of the face. In drawing, I rebel against the symmetry of features, favoring instead the uniqueness and imbalance that each line can reveal. The mismatched eyes in my sketches are a testament to the variegated perspectives with which we view the world, urging us to appreciate the beauty in asymmetry.

Dimension in Minimalism and the Creation of Information

Yet, these drawings whisper of dimension, even if ever so slight—a hint rather than a shout, suggesting that the true essence of understanding lies between the lines, not within the boldness of the shapes or the shadows they cast.

In the era we find ourselves in—an information age that saturates us with data and details—it is easy to become passive recipients. But in my art, I rebel against this passivity. I am the creator, not merely a conduit. The lines I lay down don’t just transmit information; they are the very act of invention, the whisper of creation itself.

The Rhythm and Fluidity of Visual Information

The fluidity of information is integral to my work, as I seek not the rough and jagged, but the smooth and rhythmic transitions of line to line, thought to thought. I yearn for a piece that exudes cohesion, where each part, each narrative thread, is essential to the whole.

Rejecting Classical Balance for Organic Expression

Rejecting symmetry, I draw inspiration from the knowledge that the world around us is beautifully uneven, chaotic even in its order. While I respect the Greek pursuit for balance and their endeavor to mimic nature’s growth patterns, I eschew the classical in favor of the organic, the raw, and the real.

The Line’s Story in the Art of Teaching

My decades of teaching life drawing have reinforced one crucial lesson: the line indeed tells the story. More than mere precursor to form and shade, the line is the embodiment of the subject’s essence, its energy, its very soul. And so, with each new piece, I allow my hand, eye, and mind to align, leading the dance as they bring to life the stories I yearn to tell, with simple ink as my faithful collaborator.